How ‘Bridgerton’ and ‘The Boys’ Expanded Their Audiences Through Spin-Offs | Charts

Last week we took a look at the audience demographics of two of the most well-developed franchises (Marvel and Star Wars), as well as how a single long-running franchise changed over time (Mad Max). But what about franchises that are just starting to grow beyond their first title?

Two recent streaming hits that have started to expand beyond their original series are “The Boys” and “Bridgerton.” The spin-offs of these shows had different audiences than the original, growing the overall franchise audience in important ways.

Parrot Analytics’ Audience Solutions shows how the gender split of the audience for “Bridgerton” and “Queen Charlotte” is nearly identical. Just over 80% of the audience for both shows is female. However, “Queen Charlotte” was able to make inroads with older audiences compared to the original series. The prequel series had an audience of 41.1% over age 30 compared with only 28.3% of Bridgerton’s audience. When thinking about the plot of the prequel, it is not surprising that “Queen Charlotte” appeals more to an older audience. The original series’ plot centers on young people finding love, while the central plot of the spin-off revolves around the characters holding their marriage together.

In contrast, “Gen V” expanded the audience of “The Boys” franchise to younger audiences. About 38% of the audience for “Gen V” belongs to Gen Z. The show’s college setting makes it more resonant with this age cohort. “Gen V” was also more successful with female audiences than “The Boys.”

A spin-off that expands a franchise’s audience base can have benefits for the original content.“Bridgerton” is just one example. The third season of the show is currently seeing record levels of demand. Globally, demand for the show has peaked at 127 times the average series demand following the release of the first batch of this season’s episodes on Netflix. This follows the release of “Queen Charlotte” last year, which provided another potential entry point to the franchise for new audiences.

It is also notable that Netflix chose to release the latest season of “Bridgerton” in two batches, an approach it has taken with some of its most popular series. This is yet another strategy for maximizing audience engagement as a franchise matures.  When a hugely popular show like “Bridgerton” reaches its third season, fans are likely hooked. Netflix can afford to split a season in two to draw out the amount of time fans are engaged with less risk that they will lose interest.

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